As a dog owner, I can confidently say that adopting my fur kid was one of the best decisions made in life. It wasn’t just about getting a pet, it was about integrating a new family member into our lives, and earning a best friend along the way. But like all things which require a long-term commitment, a lot of research was done before acquiring my new companion – after all, dogs that are placed for adoption come from various and complex backgrounds, and it’s important to be ready for such a responsibility. So if you’re on the road to starting your journey as a pawrent, here are 5 things to help you along your way.
1. Adoption By Appointment (ABA)
An adoption procedure isn’t as simple as just signing some papers and leaving with your chosen one. As animals react differently to various people, some shelters do Adoption By Appointment (ABA) where adopters are encourage to go for regular visits with the dog.
Through these interaction sessions, you’ll then be able to learn more about the dog and have a clearer decision on whether it’ll be able to get along with your family. Some may find this a chore, but a dog isn’t an object that can be easily refunded. If you get one on impulse but eventually find that they’re incompatible with your family, returning them to the shelter may harm the dog emotionally.
2. Dogs for adoption are cheaper than the ones in pet stores
And it isn’t just because they are mongrels. Contrary to belief, there are purebreds up for adoption too, but the breed isn’t the only factor here. The adoption fee for a shelter dog ranges from $180 to $350, and even includes procedures such as microchipping, sterilisation, vaccination and deworming which can cause up to $1000 when done separately.
3. “Adoption” on online portals such as Gumtree
Google the words “Dogs for adoption” and you’ll be sure to find classified advertisements on online portals such as Gumtree Singapore. A click onto the website would lead you to hundreds of dogs and puppies, all available for “adoption”, and they’re listed waaaay below the market price.
And if it sounds too good to be true, it probably is. Most of the listings may be dogs acquired via “backyard breeding”, a malpractice of owners breeding their own animals and selling them for profit. This is done without thinking about the animals’ welfare, encouraging unethical trades.
4. Understand the breeds that would be most compatible for you
If you’re an #aesthetic type of person, the chances of you picking up the cutest dog available at the shelter would be relatively high. But always remember that personality goes further than just looks itself, and you have to choose a dog that is suitable for your lifestyle and surroundings.
For someone who prefers quiet time, breeds like the Shiz Tzu do not require excessive exercise and value their own personal space. It is better to research and list down compatible breeds in order to choose the best house mate.
5. Set aside time for your fur kid to adjust to its new home
It’s no surprise that time has to be set aside for your fur kid, but allocating 15 minutes of playtime each day isn’t the only thing that you’ll have to adapt to with your dog. Adopted dogs need time to adjust to their new homes, and behavioural problems that were not present before could surface.
Your new home provides much more fun and simulation than what was at the shelter, and your new dog needs time to learn your habits and know what’s allowed and what’s not. The first few weeks with Roofus may be tough, but hang in there and all those chewed up shoes would be worth it.
6. Getting Prepared For An Adopted Dog
Adopting a dog from the shelter takes a lot more work than getting one from a pet store. These dogs may have suffered from neglect or abuse, resulting in behavioural or trust issues. Research alone will never be enough to understand them, but with enough patience and time, even the toughest of all would learn to love.